Friday, February 21, 2014
Reaching the Age of Reason
Over the years I have asked our youngest son to offer up prayers for certain special intentions or those that have been sick. In asking him I would also let him know that his prayers are very special to God as Our Lord so loves the prayers of children. My son would ask why does He love the prayers of children? In my attempt to answer such a question well too profound for me, I simply said that little children under the age of reason are innocent and pure and thus such prayers from such a soul touch Our Lord in a special way. He naturally asked me when is the age of reason? I told him seven. As this is what I had grown up understanding to be true.
Well as our youngest son grew he never seemed to forget this fact. As his 7th birthday approached he often mentioned that he had better do some extra prayers for people while he still had innocent prayers. Many times he mentioned his birthday approaching and his desire not to lose his purity. I consoled him saying that these early years are times when one practices the virtues and that he should just continue to do what he had been practicing. Well recently he confided that he had been praying very hard to God to keep his purity and he seemed to think he had an answer. He said prayer saves. He was all happy and had a new resolve to pray more and all would be well. Today on Asher’s 7th birthday I had a thought that I wanted to see what the catechism said about the age of reason. In doing some research I came across canon law 97 which stated only that on completion of the seventh year a minor is presumed to have reached the age of reason.
I contemplated a great deal sharing this little personal story from our family. Yet there was something sweet about it that seemed to speak so beautifully about the hearts of children. The world is full of harshness and raising a little one we want only the best for our children. We should pray for them that they are protected as there will be many times we will not be there physically to guard them. Just as important as our prayers for our children are the prayers of children themselves, something so often overlooked. Children have a large capacity to pray as we see through such wonderful saints as St. Bernadette or little Blessed Jacinta from Fatima. While it may seem strange for a child to be thinking so much of their purity in fact a knowledge of ones purity and a desire to protect it moving forward through life is something important for our young people. I am reminded of something Our Lady shared with little Jacinta, that more souls are lost due to sins of impurity then any other. It is not that these sins are worse than others it is just that they are more common. Our Blessed Mother has come to help all her children even the big ones who have children and grandchildren of their own. Through prayer of the Rosary we receive grace to help strengthen the virtues. The fruit of the second sorrowful mystery of the Rosary is purity.
As a mother who struggles daily with raising children it is such a consolation to know that Our Blessed Mother is there to help us. By bringing our children to prayer with her in the Rosary she makes up for so many of our deficiencies as parents and helps lead our children in holiness.